The Parisian Café Life Coming to Westport and Main

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Heather White inside her new café Cheval under construction at Main and Westport.

By Kevin Collison

A Parisian-style coffee, bakery and dessert café is coming to the corner of Westport and Main, the latest creation by Heather White of Tailleur.

Like Tailleur, which was inspired by a visit to a famed New York brasserie, White’s latest concept, Cheval, dawned on her while enjoying the café life in Paris last April.

“While I was in Paris, I sat in all the coffee shops and had a wonderful time observing how Parisians enjoy life,” she said. “I thought, nobody in Kansas City is getting to experience this.”

After returning home, opportunity knocked right across the Main Street from Tailleur.

Cheval is intended to be the ‘sister’ to Tailleur, the popular brasserie opened by Heather White last summer.

Transit Coffee was leaving its space at 3940 Main after less than a year of operation. It’s previous occupant was Oddly Correct. The landlord was agreeable to allowing White take over the previous tenant’s license and lease.

Her plan is to create a richly-decorated, intimate place on the order of Tailleur with walls done in Hunter Green, a big chandelier and an old bar from the early 1900s, and make it an all-day place to celebrate joie de vivre.

Mornings tentatively will begin at 8 a.m.

White wants to serve coffee a bit differently, eschewing the latté and Café Americanos, and serving coffee and milk in separate small pitchers on a silver tray, the milk steamed, frothed or however the customer wants it.

There will be pastries including scones, croissants, lemon tarts, savory bites and breads from her bakery.

Cheval will be at the corner of Main and Westort in the space formerly occupied by Oddly Correct.

In the evenings until 10 p.m., people can stop by for drinks and dessert, ideally after dining across the street at Tailleur.

“We’ll have a full bar, but we’ll be focused on bubbles,” White said. “It’ll be a place for people to go after a meal at Tailleur, it’s sister to this place.”

Cheval is the French word for horse, which is one of White’s passions in addition to baking. She is an accomplished equestrian and much of the Tailleur decor was inspired by her competitions and the riding world.

The new place, which is expected to open in August, will seat about two dozen people indoors and have ample outdoor seating.

It’s located near the planned streetcar stop at 39th Street and is across the street from the planned 192-unit Katz Drugstore apartment project.

Here’s the corner of Main and Westport as it looked in the 1940 Jackson County Assessor’s Office survey.

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